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Re: Feedback from LinuxWorld, London

From: Martín Marqués <martin(at)bugs(dot)unl(dot)edu(dot)ar>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Cc: "Jim C(dot) Nasby" <jnasby(at)pervasive(dot)com>,"Marc G(dot) Fournier" <scrappy(at)postgresql(dot)org>,Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>,Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
Subject: Re: Feedback from LinuxWorld, London
Date: 2005-10-10 21:24:55
Message-ID: 200510101824.55501.martin@bugs.unl.edu.ar (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
El Lun 10 Oct 2005 16:42, Jim C. Nasby escribió:
> > 
> > Couldn't these features be mostly added as a 'MySQL Compatibility add-on'? 
> > For instance, the enum type you list above ... ?
> 
> There's issues with doing that. I know one problem is that you currently
> can't pass parameters in when you define a column in a table, which you
> need to be able to do for an enum.
> 
> But like I said, if we want to improve migration we should find out
> where the users have pain and concentrate on that. That was actually the
> context of the enum discussion. I threw enum out as an example and
> everyone latched onto it, missing the overall point of trying to improve
> migration from MySQL.

The enum data type is just useless in most cases, and most MySQL programmers 
use enum as a way to store booleans. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Just yeasterday somebody was asking about what to do with a field defined as 
CHAR(2) loaded with 'Si' and 'No' (Yes and No in spanish). Ofcourse, when I 
told him about boolean, and the posibility of easily transforming the bool 
variable into a 'Si' or 'No' chain using CASE. Now the problem is that these 
people don't know about the diferent data types, and what's worst, some don't 
have a clue on good database design.

In my years of database programmer I have had to migrate a par of systems 
working on MySQL, and I have to say that whenever I saw an enum data type, I 
turned it to a boolean, and it allways would have been the best idea in the 
first hand (ofcourse, the original programmer couldn't do so, as MySQL didn't 
have the boolean data type).

I know that enum could be used in a lot of other ways, but for what I see, 
everybody uses it as a replacement for boolean.

-- 
select 'mmarques' || '@' || 'unl.edu.ar' AS email;
---------------------------------------------------------
Martín Marqués          |   Programador, DBA
Centro de Telemática	|     Administrador
               Universidad Nacional
                    del Litoral
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